I’m currently en route to Lisbon on a work trip and thought about all the things I have stuffed in the seat back pocket in front of me..people look at me like I’m crazy as I get situated in my seat for long-haul flights. But, hey, this stuff WORKS!
Let’s back up…
I take a lot of long-haul flights for work and play. Last year I went to Europe three times, and this year I’ve been on five round-trip transcontinental flights within four months. I usually dread these long trips, but, of course, once I’m at my destination I’m usually in love. Travel is funny like that.
I always pack a backpack as my “personal” item, and, sometimes, will check a carry-on bag at the gate if I’ve already checked a large bag. This is usually only the case for 2+ week trips. Otherwise, I just check a large bag and bring a backpack. For weekend trips, I carry-on with my Away roller bag and its travel bag counterpart that slips right over the handle.
WHATS IN MY BAG
Snacks – I usually pack GG Crackers (fiber!) to eat with turkey sandwiches bought at the airport, and ditch the bread. I’ll also bring Trader Joe’s freeze-dried cheese, dried coconut chips, sea salt popcorn, Perfect Bars, and Fiber One cereal to mix with yogurt (fiber and protein.) If a meal is served on the plane, I’ll usually only eat the cheese/fruit/salad part. Plane chicken? No thank you.
Skin – I always have a sheet face mask (yes, I actually wear this on the plane). Kheil’s eye cream, and an organic, cold-pressed oil, like Rosehip, which you can easily buy at Whole Foods or Amazon. Oh, and chapstick! I load on everything as soon as I’m on the plane and settled in.
Vitamins/Supplements – Right after my first meal of a travel day, I take a Vitamin C tablet and Zinc, along with a few Chinese Herb pills my acupuncturist prescribed me. I always make my green smoothie before a flight if its not a crazy early departure time.
Water – I always buy two huge water bottles before boarding. I know this isn’t the most economical choice, whoops. This helps me stay hydrated without having to bother the flight attendants every 10 minutes, why are plane cups so small?!
Electronics – I keep all my cords and adaptors in a clear reusable bag so they stay in one place. These are found right next to my iPad and Computer. I like keeping my iPad on me during flights for when my laptop runs out of power. This is usually the only time I use an iPad. My Bose headphones are still the ultimate travel electronic splurge that were SO worth the $. No crying babies interrupting sleep!
Wallet – Always scale down your wallet before travel! I usually only bring 2 credit cards, 1 debit card, cash, ID, Priority Pass, and my health insurance card. No need to bring all those gift cards and reward cards you use at home! I keep a copy of my passport in my GoogleDrive incase I need it. I keep my regular passport in its own passport/document holder.
Comfy’s – I travel with a baby blanket. Everyone is laughing until they want a corner of it! It’s the perfect travel size. I also use a neck pillow on long flights, especially if I’m not flying business or premium economy. Fleece socks, eye mask, and ear plugs, too. I keep all of these in another clear reusable bag, so they’re easy to grab when packing for travel. Someone once gave me the ultimate comfy flight tip that I live for now – HOTEL SLIPPERS! Take these from the last fancy hotel you stay at, wear them on the plane since they’re easy to slip on/off for the bathroom, and just leave them behind after since they’re really made for one time use.
Let’s assume we’re heading to Europe. If I have a stop over, I’ll work or watch movies the first 5-6 hours, snack, and drink lots of water. During my layover I’ll grab a healthy, light dinner (no alcohol). I’ll also change into matching, presentable-ish PJ’s and wash/brush my face and teeth. Re-board the plane and take a sleeping pill right when boarding (I am prescribed this by a medical professional and not advising you to do this, it’s what works for me.) Right when I get settled and we’re in the air, I load up my skin with oil/eye cream/chapstick and put my noise cancelling headphones and eye mask on. Once these are on, they do not come off until landing! I commit to keep the eye mask on and rest no matter if I’m sleeping or not. No dinner, no checking the flight tracker, no screens. Doing this, you’ll be forced to sleep and wake up refreshed! Works every time. I do the same routine if I’m flying non-stop to Europe or Asia, but with Asia, you preferably will sleep much earlier into the flight since you’ll likely land at bed time. When landing in Europe, its usually morning or mid-day, and you’ll need to fuel your body with an espresso, lots of water, and a nutritious meal. Happy travels!